Wednesday, March 19, 2008

care for a romp, govner?

I received my first proposition the other day and I'm not quite sure how to handle it.

Up until now, I have always been virtuous, and any pimping that I have done has been pro bono and because I have a genuine interest and belief in the event/product.

But recently I received an email, asking me to sell advertising (via a button or a banner) for a newly established online forum. I checked out the site and it seems like a decent forum and is innocuous enough, but I am not sure:
a) if I want to go down this path
b) how to determine asking rates

I'm sure a lot of you get bombarded with these offers all the time, but I'm just a poor innocent girl, newly arrived in the big scary city, and admit my head is already swimming with all this talk of Click Through Rates and Costs Per Click and Page Impressions and effective CPMs.

Sure, I would love to earn some money from my blog, especially now that I am semi-retired, as the Spousal Unit never fails to remind me, but is it worth taking that step? You can never get your cherry back, you know.

And what would be the impact it would have upon the nature of my blog? Would it still feel like my place, where I go when there is something I feel compelled to write about or if I have something I want to share, or would it become some sort of mutant? Somehow I keep picturing the creation of something really scary, sort of like the love-child between Eugene Hutz' mustache and Javier Bardem's hair.

I would love some advice, especially from you seasoned streetwalkers bloggers who sell advertising. What's your experience been with placing ads on your blogs? Best thing ever or dropping your pants?

27 comments:

Allison said...

Sorry I can't be more helpful, as I don't have any ads up. Seems like it could be a good thing though.

I am having a laugh at your label. Well done.

Will said...

I would have sold advertising on my site if anyone were interested, but I think it's not such a black and white issue. I guess it comes down to whether you like the proposed product (or in this case forum) and whether it would compromise what you can and can't write about. Since this is a blog dedicated to many things, some of them personal so it could raise certain questions ... like, is this Barbara a real person or someone created in blogger to sell products? Then again, your loyal readers (who include myself and several others) are pretty convinced of your realness and won't all of a sudden turn away at the sight of an ad. So, those are my thoughts.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It does seem promising and rather tempting, but I will likely put off any decision-making until after our vacation anyway, Al No point starting anything right now.

Thanks for the thoughtful input, Will, those are all important points. I have no issues with this forum (it actually looks rather promising), and I have put up buttons for causes in the past. I'll have to give more consideration to the valid sticking points you raise, though.

URBAN BLONDE said...

Hmmm, this is an interesting proposition.

On some of the blogs I frequent there are ads. For the most part I have to say I barely read them. Some appear appropriate to the blog being written, others like the google ads are triggered by words within the blog. This can bring up some unique ads.

The money idea sounds cool though. Who doesn't like money? :D

Blondie

Deb said...

Well this is something I'm very unfamiliar with and I can see why you're wrestling with the decision. Your blog is something very special and do you want to mess with that? Then again, a little extra coin is always nice.

So I'm about as much help as a three dollar bill.

Sorry. I tried. Really I did. :)

~Jen~ said...

haahaa I have little to no traffic so it never occured to me to try an ad....but wtf...may as well...dont over think it ahhaha

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm not averse to the idea of my blog becoming generating some money, that's for sure, Urban Blonde, but I guess either the ad would have to be for something I really believe it, or the amount of money would have to make dropping my pants worthwhile. Decisions, decisions.

Deb, I'm having a tough enough time doing the pros and cons on this whilst stone cold sober, so I certainly can't expect you to do the thinking for me when you are recuperating from dental work. That would be cruel.

But Jen, I am the queen of overthinking. Without that, I would be nothing.

mellowlee said...

Hmmmm. Money is good, but I guess you would need to find out what kind of ads would be on it first eh. I sent you an email btw :O)

Happy Easter Zombie Family xoxo

Barbara Doduk said...

How would they pay you?

Are they asking to buy a space on your web site, rent it out on a monthly fee? That fee would be based on how many people view your blog.

Or are they offering to reward you for clicks to that ad that actually record on their end. Usually only pay a small amount for each click.

The two options vary in what you would potentially earn.

Gifted Typist said...

I'm a columnist for a newspaper that sells ads so I have no problemo with earning dosh for your v. pithy, funny and well-observed commentaries.

But remain true to yourself ... don't compromise your excellence.

Unless you and your resident offspring and sig other are all starving ... then compromise all you like.

John Mutford said...

I've only had a few such offers and for the most part have turned them down (turning down a few bizarre ones from the religious right was a pretty easy decision). I don't like seeing ads on others' blogs (though it doesn't really influence whether or not I revisit). I didn't start blogging for cash, and I'm afraid if I started now I'd lose sight and not find it fun anymore (basically, I don't trust myself!).

I have however, helped some lesser known and/or self-published authors promote their books on my blog. And I'll occasionally link to Amazon.ca because I'm a "sales associate." What this means is that over three years of blogging, I got one free book. Whoopty-friggin-do.

JustRun said...

How's the company/site/whatever? I only get shady offers, so I can't really help much. If it's legit, and something not offensive to you, why not?!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

They offer a few options, Mel, a 150x150 button, or a banner or text only, so I think it could be kep fairly tasteful.
Thanks for the pictures!

Thanks for the feedback, Barbara Doduk, that's very helpful. It sounds like they're offering a flat rate (weekly, monthly or yearly), and have asked for my rates. So that's good, right?

Gifted are you back already? Yay!
I actually think this is something which I wouldn't have an issue promoting - it's a tasteful forum. It wouldn't compromise my ridiculously high standards of journalistic excellence, hehe.

So you will drop your pants for books then, John? Pardon me, ... book.
I know what you mean though, this was not my intent when I started blogging either, but our goals do evolve and my day job is becoming less and less important, so. Perhaps.

I think you have summed it up perfectly, Justrun. Or maybe that's just what I want to hear, but this may be doable.

Winter said...

Don't sell out!

Anonymous said...

Hey Barb,
Decisions, decisions decisions!
I have always loved reading your blog and if those possible ads don't compromise what your blog is about, go for it.
Having said that, I would drop my pants for a large double double:)
Have great Easter.
Coffee Lover
BB

Beth said...

I've been asked in the past, and decided not to. Tried the Amazon partner program back in The Soundtrack of My Life days ... but I didn't get much for it.

BeckEye said...

I'm too lazy to figure that stuff out. It's more complicated shit that I have to keep track of.

And I wonder why I can't make a living as a freelance writer/blogger.

justacoolcat said...

I never fall for the pimping bait. I've considered it when It's something I think I could get into,e.g. when Showtime wanted me to pimp the Tudors, but overall it kind of seems like selling out for a low price.

mellowlee said...

You're welcome :O) I took em just for you!

Tanya Espanya said...

I would pay to read your crap, even if I don't make it over here that often...Oh, wait, you're paying me? Ugh, my brain is small...

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

wow, what a tough decision.

i'd be tempted but i think for me, i would worry about what they advertise. i have no problems with ads per se, but what if it was something i couldn't support?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I will only sell out if it is something I could happily support without compromising my blog, Winter.

I'm sending a double double to your office, Bruno. I'll bet the secretaries will be thrilled to see you drop your pants.

Is that the same Amazon program that John is with, Beth? He's not getting a pile o' stuff either.

It's way more complicated than I realised, Beckeye. Dropping your pants needs to come with a degree anymore.

I'm starting to think if you chose carefully, you can maintain your credibility, JustA. After all I accepted free theatre tickets for reviewing plays last year, and I can still live with myself.

I'm pretty sure I would stay away from the penis enhancement ads, 668 but yes there's a lot to consider.

justacoolcat said...

Naturally, I totally retract my prior statement if you're going to get rich and famous.

justacoolcat said...

P.S. I totally take comps and "extra" tix, but I don't let it affect my reviews.

Often, if I don't have anything good to say I won't write the review and if I have good to say I still don't shy away from the hardest pill to swallow; constructive criticism.

Which still leaves a lot of things unreviewed, but it's for the best.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I usually find something good to say in the reviews, JustA, but sometimes have to refrain from gushing. (I've been seeing a lot of great stuff lately). I do have a lukewarm review coming up, but I paid for the tix myself. Not that that has any bearing on it.

phlegmfatale said...

I have no experience with ads on me blog. I just wanted to say that pic of Eugene Hutz made me drool and gave me girlwood. ROWR! Gawd, he was so effing hawt on Wednesday night.

word verification? popzujol.

Quite.

Moxie said...

I've gotten a request like the one you received, and I've gotten requests that turned out to be very bizarre, such as an online absinthe retailer who wanted me to write a review of their website. Um, what?

That being said, I have received some great products to review because a PR rep liked my blog. And because of those reviews, it looks like I'm going to get a full-time job in PR - something I've wanted to do for a long time.

Since you love supporting local theatre productions, there's an opportunity for you to turn your blog reviews into free or discount tickets, maybe a paid gig as a reviewer for a local paper...lots of possibilities. So even if you don't go the banner ad route, you can still get some cool stuff by continuing to do what you love.